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Hina Matsuri, The Doll Festival

Photo by Jonathan Ley

Hina Matsuri – Dolls Festival – is a special time to pray for the growth and happiness of girls. It is also called ‘Peach Blossom Festival’ because it takes place on the 3rd day of the 3rd month, which is a season for peach blossoms in the lunar calendar. In earlier days, people believed that peach had special powers to drive away evil spirits because of its fragrance.

Hina dolls are displayed prominently in the home. The display always includes the Emperor and Empress on the first tier. Each region in Japan has its own distinctive style of Hina dolls and displays them according to local tradition. Hina dolls are not played with and are carefully packed away at the end of the festival.

Here at the Garden, the Hina doll collection was donated by the Dozono family and will be displayed at the Cultural Corner. Festival activities include children choosing their favorite yukata to wear for a photo with the Hina Dolls. And in the Classroom, guests can participate in a flower workshop hosted by the Ohara Ikebana School to celebrate the Peach Blossom Festival.